The Belfry, Bruges


Route: Bruges (Brugge)

Area: Belgium

Date of walk: 4th March 2020

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 11.0 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Sunny intervals

We’ve visited Bruges before, but were tempted to pay another visit not only by our memory of its beauty, but also by a remarkable deal offered by P&O Ferries – overnight travel from Hull to Zeebrugge, bus transfer next morning into Bruges, allowing for a full day to explore the city, bus back to Zeebrugge, and overnight travel back to Hull – all for £40 per person (until the end of March)

Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders and has a long and fascinating history. Its centre is a well preserved maze of cobbled streets and canals lined by many ancient buildings, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998. We decided to follow a suggested walking route as it’s all too easy to be tempted by numerous paths and passageways and end up walking round in circles. This route took in most of the main sights and important buildings

The bus stop is on the edge of the city near the railway station, and we arrived there at 9.45am. We crossed over a bridge to walk through Koning Albertpark. This brought us to the ancient part of the city. We ignored opportunities to take a horse drawn carriage or a boat ride along the canals, and continued to follow our walking route. Along the way we visited the Groeninge Museum, where paintings by Van Eyck and Memling may be seen, and also the Gruuthuse Museum, a 15th Century palace which describes the history of Bruges. Both were well worth visiting

Although the route described on the Maps Page is only about 3.5 miles, and can be walked in under 2 hours, we ended up walking a much greater distance thanks to numerous minor detours, and retracing our steps to walk around the canal area again, seeking out areas we’d missed the first time around. Eventually we had to make our way back to the start, as the return bus to Zeebrugge was due to leave at 5.30pm. The travel arrangements all went to plan, and it had been a superb short trip

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